Thank you, Athens

Thank you, Athens

A thank you note to my favorite little town
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I grew up in a town whose population was almost half of the total enrollment of the University of Georgia. The size of my high school graduating class makes up a whopping .7% of the total number of students I'll be graduating with in 2019. And while these numbers hung over my head as I started school at UGA, I felt an overwhelming amount of peace about going to school here.

Athens, Georgia: a college town with a high poverty level and above-average music scene. I knew I was going to enjoy the four years I would spend at school here, but I never knew how much of an impact this place would have on my life. And as the Thanksgiving season is coming to an end, I figured it was time I gave thanks for this new home of mine.

So, thank you, Athens, for:

... giving me a newfound sense of adventure. I find myself wanting to spend every ounce of my free time exploring. Whether it's the Pulaski swing, a random flower field, the Iron Horse, the Tree Room, or the Train Trestle, Athens always finds a way to broaden my sense of adventure (and rid me of my fear of heights).

... showing me how sweet friendships can be. Never in a million years would I have expected to have the friends that I have. They hold me accountable, encourage me, and challenge me to grow deeper in my faith and to be the best version of myself. Athens has brought me the greatest people!!! Wow, I could go on about them forever, but I don't have that kind of time.

... giving me the confidence to stop being a follower and start being a leader. My time in high school was spent trying to be like everyone else. My freshman year was filled with nights of doing what everyone else was doing and mornings of regretting every second of it. I never expected myself to have the courage and confidence to start being ME, not who everyone else wanted me to be.

... letting me fail. In high school, I excelled in sports, music, and academics. I don't think I experienced much failure then. However, college is a whole different story. I learned that B's are still good, and it's okay to not be the best at everything. School is hard! Life is hard! I can't succeed in everything.

... becoming my new home. Going back home to see my family is so sweet and special, but it's weird now. I love Athens. I feel at home here, and I never want to leave! It's crazy how quickly this place has become everything I could have ever asked for.

So, Athens, thank you. Thank you for making the past year and a half better, sweeter, and fuller than I could've ever imagined. You've exceeded my expectations and have proven to be the best thing that's happened to me. I'm so thankful for the time I've gotten to spend here and for the time I have left. Athens, I love you!

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Summer And Jobs

Working summers doesn't have to be tedious.

Aasayed
Aasayed
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Like many other college students, I was ready for summer but was kinda bummed that I had to work. Its not that I didn't like where I was working, I actually was really lucky to be working in a hospital environment but I just hated being alone all summer from 9-5. I've had this job for a few years now and a few other paid interns came and went but I never really connected with any of them. This year is different though.

I got really lucky to have another intern work with me that was very similar to me. The tasks we got were always simple but they were made to be more fun because I got to do them while talking with someone else. Now I actually enjoy and look forward to going to work.

The key to finding a good job is finding one that you enjoy doing and one that will help you gain knowledge that will help you out with future career plans. Working with friends also make tasks enjoyable! I would be careful with working with your friend however because if your job needs you to be serious and focused, being around your best friends may distract you from that.

Another thing that definitely makes summer jobs more enjoyable are taking breaks! It is your summer vacation after all! I'm not saying don't take a day off just to sit around, but if you make plans with family and friends, take a Friday off and enjoy the warm weather and good company! Employers understand that us college students and on break and have lives, they are usually very lenient with days off!

If you have to do a summer job to make money to live off of or pay for college, the best thing to do is look at the big picture. If you don't enjoy your job but can't afford to quit, remember that the money if going to help you out a lot. Also, this job is probably only for the summer right? So it's not permanent my friend! Get through these annoying few weeks and you will be back at college, taking steps for a bigger and brighter future.

Summer jobs are tough, I know, but make the most of it! And don't forget to enjoy it whenever you can!!!

Aasayed
Aasayed

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